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Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery Program (DOE/EIS-0495)
Umatilla County, Oregon and Walla Walla County, Washington

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to fund the construction and operation of a spring Chinook hatchery on the South Fork Walla Walla River near Milton-Freewater in Umatilla County, Oregon. The hatchery would be located at the site of an existing adult holding and spawning facility managed by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), who would also operate the proposed hatchery. The hatchery would incubate and rear spring Chinook salmon, which were extirpated from the Walla Walla River basin in the early to mid-1900s. The proposed project would augment fish populations available for harvest and aid in establishing a naturally spawning spring Chinook population in the Walla Walla basin.

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW:
To understand the potential environmental impacts of this proposal, BPA has prepared an environmental impact statement (EIS) following the procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act. The EIS analyzes two action alternatives and a no action alternative.

Alternative 1, the Preferred Alternative, calls for the new hatchery to incubate and rear up to 500,000 yearling spring Chinook smolts for release in tributaries to the Walla Walla River in northeast Oregon and southeast Washington. The proposed project would augment fish populations available for harvest and aid in establishing a naturally spawning spring Chinook population in the Walla Walla basin.

In Alternative 2, the hatchery would rear the same fish as Alternative 1, but would also accommodate the rearing of 810,000 spring Chinook smolts for an ongoing Umatilla basin program. This alternative would transfer production of Umatilla spring Chinook from the existing Umatilla Hatchery near Irrigon, OR to the proposed new Walla Walla Hatchery to help alleviate water constraints at Umatilla Hatchery. The transfer would not change other aspects of the Umatilla spring Chinook program such as spring Chinook acclimation and release sites, and the Umatilla Hatchery would continue to produce other fish. Alternatives 1 and 2 would construct new incubation and rearing buildings and equipment and auxiliary facilities, modify water treatment and delivery systems, and replace three staff residences.

The EIS describes anticipated impacts to natural and human resources and includes mitigation measures that would help avoid or minimize impacts. Effects of methods to more efficiently use water, including a pumpback system and water reuse systems, also are analyzed.
BPA released the draft EIS for public review on October 9, 2014, and solicited comments on it until November 24, 2014, including at two public meetings held in Dayton, Washington on October 29 and in Milton-Freewater, Oregon on October 30.  

CURRENT STATUS:
BPA has prepared and released the final EIS on May 25, 2018. The final EIS provides responses to comments received on the draft EIS and has been revised with additional information as appropriate. BPA’s decision on whether to fund the proposal will be documented and released in a Record of Decision.

 PROJECT SCHEDULE:

​Scoping comment period
Scoping meetings
Additional scoping comment period
Draft EIS comment period
Public meetings
Final EIS
If decision to build, construction start
​March 28, 2013 - May 15, 2013
April 16, 2013 in Milton-Freewater, OR and April 17 in Dayton, WA
June 2, 2014 - July 1, 2014
October 7, 2014 - November 24, 2014
October 29, 2014 in Dayton, WA and October 30, 2014 in Milton-Freewater, OR
May 25, 2018
Summer/Fall 2018
 
CONTACT:

For envrionmental information, contact:
Judy Woodward
Environmental Protection Specialist
MBO Partners
Bonneville Power Administration - ECF-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208-3621
or


Toll-free:  800-622-4519
Direct line:  503-325-8333
Email:  jlwoodward@bpa.gov
Chad Hamel
Supervisory Environmental Protection Specialist
Bonneville Power Administration - ECF-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208-3621

Toll-free:  800-622-5564
Direct line:  503-230-4454
Email:  cjhamel@bpa.gov
For project information, contact:
Gerald McClintock
Project Manager
Bonneville Power Administration - EWB-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208-3621

Toll-free:  800-622-4519
Direct line:  503-230-5375
Email:  gmclinktock@bpa.gov
 

DOCUMENTS:

FINAL EIS
Public letter                    (05/25/2018)
Final EIS                        (05/25/2018)

DRAFT EIS

Draft EIS comments received
Public letter                    (10/03/2014)
Draft EIS                        (10/03/2014)
Comment Form              (10/03/2014)

SCOPING
Scoping comments received
Public letter - update       (06/02/2014)
Project Map                   (05/12/2014)
Comment Form             (06/02/2014)

Scoping comments received
Public letter                   (03/28/2013)
Comment Form             (03/28/2013)
Project Map                   (03/15/2013)

Notice of Intent               (03/20/2013)